Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
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The Peace that Keeps
Philippians 4:6. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Have you ever stopped to consider that God's peace keeps us? The word that we just read said it does. It keeps our hearts or spirits, and it also keeps our mind or soul.
In todayís world you see all kinds of self help programs designed to help people deal with everyday life situations. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on therapy and anxiety disorder programs that are designed to help people cope with every day stresses. I am not discouraging these things or saying they are wrong in and of them selves but I am saying God's Word is showing us a better way.
I realize in our extremely busy paced lives, it is sometimes easy to forget the reason for our very existence. We are here to serve God. God our Father wants us to be happy and blessed, not stressed and vexed, yet that is the way most people are. That is because they donít know the One who gives life and peace. Jesus said this very thing.
John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Jesus talking to His disciples is saying He has given us His peace. This is not the kind of peace that comes from having lack of pressure; it is the peace that comes regardless of what life throws your way. We donít live in a vacuum, just the opposite, we live in the most stressed out time in history. We know that life can throw a lot of things at us, and many times we feel like, why is this happening to me! I know this; regardless of what the world throws at us; God's peace will keep us! We have a job and a responsibility to receive what Jesus has given to us. Even though He has given it to us, we have to learn to receive it and walk in it.
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
16. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
There is a set of instructions to follow that tells us how to let God's peace rule us.
This is not automatic; we must obey God's Word in order to receive this blessing of peace.
Even though Jesus has already told us He has left us His peace, that does not mean that we are automatically walking in it. If that were so, there would not be any stressed out Christians. I believe if we all followed His precepts and walked according to His word, there would be no stressed out Christians. We know that is not the case, so what do we as believers need to do to become partakers of this awesome promise.
Letís look at what we just read. First of all the Word is telling us we must let the peace of God rule in our hearts. We have to let it. Have you ever considered this? We have to give God permission to let His peace rule us. If we wonít let it, it wonít rule us. That may sound hard but it is the way it is. God is a gentleman and He wonít come in uninvited or where He is not welcome. It may not be your intention to be unwelcoming towards Him but when you hold on to anxiety and care, that is exactly what you are doing. You may say well you just donít know what I am going through. That may be true but God does and He is the One that matters. He wants to take that burden from you and give you his peace. You have to let it go.
-- Simple English
1 Peter 5:7 Throw all your worries onto God, because He cares for you.
To throw means to use force to expel something away from you. This is not always easy but is something we can do with the help of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. You have to throw the burden onto God and then receive His peace in place of that burden.
You have to cast or throw your cares and worries onto God. He truly loves you and wants you to be anxiety free. This is not denial of reality; this is walking hand in hand with the one who sustains you. See the difference?
The next thing Paul said to the Colossians was to be thankful. Be thankful for what?
Be thankful you are alive unto God and not dead in your trespasses and sins. Be thankful for God's provision and blessing. That is just a start. Have you ever considered that it is hard for God to be gracious to his children when they are not grateful for what they have? Start praising Him for what you have got. Give Him something to work with. Have a grateful heart!
And finally Paul said to let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Let God's Word dwell in you! Let God's Word dwell in you richly. Meaning, put God's Word first place in your life. Keep it before your eyes. Dwell on the problem solver not the problem. It is impossible to do both at the same time. You must choose one or the other. It is up to you which one it is going to be.
Deuteronomy 30:19 "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;
God is even telling us which one to choose. He wants us to succeed. This is His desire for us His children.
It is truly hard to have an anxious heart when you have cast your burden onto Him and are praising Him and giving Him thanks. A thankful heart is a heart that receives more of God's blessings, I am convinced of it.
I would like to go back and look at our opening Scripture in the Revised Standard Version
It goes hand in hand with what the apostle Paul was saying to the Colossians.
Phil:4: 6-8. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Godís Word is telling us to take some steps in order for us to get His peace. We too often want to have instant success, it just doesnít work that way, we have to follow Godís instruction book. His instruction book, the Word of God, or the Bible, gives us specific instructions.
When we follow His precepts, we get His results. When we donít follow His precepts, we donít get His results. Itís that simple. Letís look at what Paul said to the Philippians and see exactly what he said to do.
1.) have no anxiety about anything,
That means not to worry. If your faith is in God and His Word then you will not
be worrying. You can not walk in worry and faith at the same time. They do not co-exist.
2.) but in everything by prayer, and supplication
That is going to the Father in Jesus name and making your request made known to Him.
This is just another way of saying to petition God with your needs. He already knows your needs but He has told us to ask Him. James said Yet you do not have because you do not ask. (James 4:2) We must ask.
3.) with thanksgiving,
Thanking Him that He hears your prayers, thanking Him for the answer. A faith filled prayer prays according to God's Word and believes that the prayer has been heard.
We can have confidence that our prayer has been heard when we pray this way. The apostle John said this very thing.
1 John 5:14. Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
15. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
4.) let your request be made known to God.
His Word even tells us what to pray, we are to pray according to His will, or His Word as we just read in 1Jn.
5.) vs.8. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Do these things and God's peace will rule your hearts and minds. I know this is true. Amen
Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you want to be a joint heir with Christ?
If so, I urge you to earnestly pray the following prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),
So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.